Business leaders from across the West Midlands will gather at the Advanced Technology Centre in Brierley Hill this week to debate one of the gravest issues facing the country today – how to tackle the UK’s talent challenge.
Organised by Business in the Community at the request of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, the event this Thursday is the second in a series of regional talent debates taking place around the country exploring how best to address Britain’s urgent talent shortage.
The Prime Minister will explain to delegates via a video message at the event, how Britain is facing global competition as never before and why businesses need to take action now if Britain is to remain competitive and productive with a world-class workforce.
Delegates will also hear from a range of West Midlands’ business leaders about what they are doing in their companies to unlock talent, including Ben Reid, Chief Executive of The Midcounties Cooperative, Stewart Towe, Group Managing Director of the Hadley Group, David Hurcomb, Director of Carillion plc and Professor Sir Geoff Hampton of Wolverhampton University who is the lead advisor on the Black Country Challenge.
Other speakers lined up include representatives from Advantage West Midlands, the West Midlands Learning and Skills Council and the newly formed UK Commission for Employment and Skills who will collectively outline the scale of the talent challenge in the West Midlands.
During the event, delegates will be invited to take part in a talent exchange where they will debate the best ways of developing talent and skills both inside and outside the workplace.
They will also have the chance to meet representatives from a range of local organisations in a talent fair running alongside the event.
Ben Reid, Chief Executive of The Midcounties Cooperative and Chair of Business in the Community’s Regional Advisory Board said: “Talent is an issue affecting all our businesses.
“If we are to retain a world-class workforce, we have to find new ways of unlocking people’s talent. I therefore urge businesses to attend this important debate – this is your chance to feed your views back to Government about what we need in the West Midlands.”
Companies already registered to attend the event include Jaguar Land Rover, RWE npower, BT, Severn Trent Water, South Staffs Water and Carillion plc.
Other companies wishing to register or wanting more details should contact Alison Maxam, Events and Communications Manager at Business in the Community on 0121 451 2227 or visit www.bitc.org.uk/westmidlands